In the spirit of authenticity (pt. 1). . .

I want to share a story with all of you. I probably should have shared this a very long time ago, but I’ve been afraid to look at my past with this kind of detail.

After two years of online correspondence with activist/author/fellow blogger Anne Jackson, I finally got to meet her face-to-face. And she’s exactly what I expected. Who she is over email is the same as who she is in person.

But that came as a challenge to me. Because I know that’s not me. I’m still afraid to be real.

And I’m really afraid to talk about this.

So after a deep breath let’s start from the beginning.

I grew up in a fundamentalist culture, more specifically the independent Baptist fundamentalist culture. The seventeen years I spent there shaped my view of God and gave me many gross misconceptions about who God is and how he works in our lives.

Most of what I learned growing up stems from what’s called Keswick theology (chefarianism). (I’m indebted to Dr. Camille Lewis for her enlightening me on the pervasiveness of this view.)

Keswick theology is, in my opinion, harmful to a healthy view of our Creator and is the primary reason non-Christians have such a negative perception of Christians. Sadly, however, this is what’s been taught in churches across America.

Ideas like “the victorious life” or “dedicating your life to Christ” are the result of Keswick theology which essentially removes the human identity with the goal of being completely surrendered to God. Here’s how Lewis describes it.

For the Keswickian there are two types of Christian: carnal and normal. For the normal Christian, the self is dethroned, yielded, absent. Any hint of self-identity, however, is carnal. Sin, in the Keswickian perspective, is overwhelmingly powerful. And while it can never be eradicated, it must be continually thwarted. Full surrender is the only solution; anything less is willful rebellion. What this comes down to is complete capitulation of anything human or anything personal. The self is useless. It has no rights, no personality, and no humanity.

It’s in this setting that my journey begins. . .

Read part 2 here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *